Exterior siding is at the mercy of the elements. It matters little if the material is stucco, aluminum, cedar or vinyl siding. There are four common mistakes that homeowners do on DIY patch jobs. Learn how to fix your siding correctly – the first time.
Compromising Siding’s Waterproofing Effect during Repairs
Fixing vinyl siding in particular is a typical DIY project. Cutting out a cracked piece of siding, replacing it with one that is cut to fit and snapping it into place are simple tasks. A few well placed nails hold the new siding in place.
Where most homeowners fail to follow through is the waterproofing. This Old House explains how to use a zip tool, which helps integrate a piece of vinyl siding into the overlap of the already existing pieces above.
Doing Damage to Lapped Wood Shingles during Replacement
Wood shingle siding pieces, which are so badly damaged that the use of epoxy wood filler no longer does the job, must be replaced. In and of itself, this is a rather simple exterior siding repair job that any DIY handyman can do. What complicates matters is the unique methodology of affixing lapping wood single siding to a home.
Better Homes and Gardens explains that it is a common mistake to damage otherwise intact siding by attempting to pry out nails holding a damaged shingle in place. The workaround is simple: cut the offending nails (underneath the damaged shingle) with a hacksaw.
Painting Aged Aluminum Siding with Latex Primer
As explained by the Home Siding Center, it is true that “100% acrylic paint” is the coloring agent of choice when it comes to painting aluminum siding. The problem arises when homeowners reach for latex primer to get the job started. Ask the Builder is adamant when pointing out that a good many latex primers are a poor basecoat for older aluminum siding.
The issue here is the ammonia that is a common latex primer ingredient; it chemically reacts with oxidized aluminum, creates a gas and therefore makes subsequent top-coat adherence iffy. Thinned metal primer (oil based) is a better solution for aged aluminum.
Fixing Stucco Siding With Anything But
A small crack in stucco exterior siding does not look like it is all that difficult to fix. Squeeze in a bit of filler and then trust that paint covers a multitude of sins. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking leads to further deterioration of the exterior siding and may actually cause the crack to grow and allow mold to invade.
The best material to use when repairing exterior siding comprised of stucco – as explained by Home Tips’ Don Vandervort — is stucco patching compound. Don’t skimp on the material but buy the real thing to avoid problems down the line.